Ford Figo crosses milestone of 3 lakh units in just three years of launch

‘Ford EcoSport’, the word seem carrying heavy weightage in market these days, but the Ford says its Figo who had made them achieve some conclave numbers during years. After the three years of launch, Figo still manages to sell 1 lakh units per annum, which means approximately the American carmaker had rolled out 300,000 lakh Figos in India till date. Without declining the fact, Ford had mentioned to expand its success of hatchback via network building and also rationing the newly launched compact SUV EcoSport on that same.

“The Figo continues to be a game-changer for Ford in India and has helped position Ford as a significant player,” said Ford India President and Managing Director Joginder Singh in a statement.

Besides, Ford also exports Figo to 37 countries worldwide. Talking that network development, carmaker had decided to add up five new dealerships in its list, which will be a step further to the target spot of 500 dealerships till 2015.

The above new dealerships will be but obviously in tier III cities — Solan, Sri Ganganagar, Gaya, Anand and Sikar, where nowadays most of the automaker’s expansion rests heavily.

Ford Figo

“These additions to our dealer footprint are part of our aggressive expansion plans of reaching closer to customers in India,” Singh added.

It is said, there are dealerships slotted to be inaugurated in Faridabad and Kochi too.

Ford received 30,000 bookings for its new most admirable buff called ‘EcoSport’ within 17 days of the launch; we expect the momentum of Figo may also go the same aggressive way further.

The All New Ford Figo Spied Testing in Germany

In January, Ford released an upgraded Ford Figo in South Africa which had redesigned exteriors. Now after a few months, it has been spotted that a 2014 model of Ford Figo is already under test drives and soon will make its way to the market. It was revealed a few months back by Cars and Drivers Brazil that Ford is working on a new variant. With the information now available, it seems that the new variant that was being talked about and the car under testing presently is 2014 Ford Figo. The car will be manufactured in the Sanand unit in Gujarat.

Ford Figo is a subcompact car which seems to be on the line of Ford Fiesta but is comparatively smaller. It was unveiled in the year 2009 in New Delhi and finally launched in the year 2010 and has created a significant market for itself in developing countries. It is being manufactured in India at the Chennai plant. Figo literally means “cool”. Within 4 months of its launch it had sold over 25,000 units. Ford then launched an upgraded variant of Ford Figo in 2012 in India.

Like many other automakers, Ford has also followed the trend by designing the new Ford Figo comparatively longer and wider than the original Figo. It is reported that some of the features will be borrowed from the newly launched EcoSport. The earlier Figo had Christmas tree back lights, which will be missing from the new Figo. The car will also have sharper lines. The car will also come as a sedan variant to compete with Tata Indigo eCS and Honda Amaze. This new variant will replace Ford Classic, bridging the distance between Fiesta and Figo.

Ford Figo Spied Testing

The car is expected to have an Ecoboost engine having a fuel capacity of 1 litre. It will also have 1.5 litre petrol and diesel engine as is seen in Fiesta. The 2014 Ford Figo might not endorse a turbo charger to improve the cost efficiency. It is thought to use a technology that replaces the turbo charger.

It is expected that even the 2014 Ford Figo will be promoted as per Blue Oval’s Ford One plan. This plan basically ensures that Ford vehicles sold in different markets all over the world have same features and specifications. Fiesta, Kurga, B-Max, Ecosport are some of the cars already following this plan.

Figo has been a very successful venture for Ford. It recently had upgraded its Ecosport and Ikon sedan. It therefore, very smartly, upgraded another of it popular car to keep its hold over the market.

Ford Figo Spied Testing Back View

Image Courtesy – quatrorodas.abril.com.br

Facelift Ford Figo Enters Nepal & South Africa

Well known car maker Ford has rolled out the facelifted edition of its renowned small vehicle Figo hatchback in Nepal as well as the South African market.

For the Nepal residents, the Indian made facelift edition of Ford Figo is being presented in four choices each, for the petrol plus diesel cars.

On the other hand, for the South African market, the Figo hatchback is being forwarded in two petrol and one diesel choices only.

Being exported to 30 nations across the world, the vehicle is the US car giant’s top selling car in India.

Facelift Ford Figo Enters Nepal & South Africa
The facelifted version of the vehicle has bagged a complete host of interior as well as exterior cosmetic modifications.

Prices for the facelifted edition of its renowned small vehicle Figo hatchback begin 118,670 Rand (Rs.7.37 lakh) that is approximately one lakh rupees more compared to the Duratorq Titanium 1.4 alternative sold in the Indian market.

The vehicle’s facelift bags an innovative hexagonal fencing together with some other design tweaks in order to maintain the originality factor. The headlight form has also been reviewed along with pilot lamps. The headlamp borders are also fine-tuned and the vehicle currently gets the choice of a latest alloy wheel design, which resembles the new Fiesta’s. In addition, there are a few alterations to the back.

The facelifted Figo has a sturdy option to attain the same level of triumph in the South African and Nepal market, which the car has set up in the Indian market.

A Look at Ford Figo Facelift Spy Photos

Some car enthusiasts recently captured photos of Ford’s yet-to-be-announced Figo Facelift while it was on road test Sion Panvel highway in Chennai, and posted the photos on the Web. The photos are satisfactory enough to let viewers to know what the facelift version of the Ford Figo will look like.

The spy photos show that the Ford Figo Facelift has gotten a new front bumper that features chrome inserts on the grille and round headlights. The chrome strip has been pushed above the indicator positioned in the headlight. The fog lights have been positioned in a different way, while air dam has got a new shape.

The headlights have apparently been made round shaped because these lights in the existing version has faced criticism because of poor illumination. But, experts are of the opinion that there was no need to compromise with the entire look of the car. However, the taillights in the facelift version of the Ford Figo have really been enhanced with the change of brake & reverse lights.

Ford Figo Facelift Spy Photos

The new Figo’s alloy wheels resemble those of all-new Fiesta, while one can also expect new paint schemes on the upcoming facelift version. To deal with the ill-designed speed breaker on several Indian roads, the manufacturer is also expected to equip the new car with taller tyres. One can expect some new interior features also, such as steering mounted audio controls.

Though the manufacturer had recently experimented with a Figo with key-less entry and a start-stop button, yet these features will most likely not make it to the facelifted version of the Figo. Under the hood, the Figo Facelift has 1.2 Liter, 70bhp petrol engine or the 1.4 Liter, 68bhp diesel engine, along with the five-speed manual gearbox.

The Ford Figo Facelift is expected to made public debut before the festival of Diwali – in or around early November.

Ford Figo is going to be exported to 18 additional countries from 2012

It seems that Ford is trying to make hay while the sun shines. The automaker is presently enjoying a period in which it has been achieving complete success. To completely make use of this situation, Ford appears to be gearing up to stretch the domains of its fabulously designed Figo from the Indian domestic market to incorporate 18 additional nations where the car is going to record its presence before 2012 ends. This has been based on the excellent overseas demand for this car, according to an official from Ford. With this addition, the Ford Figo is going to achieve the enviable figure of 50 countries, in which it is going to register its presence.

The Managing Director and President of Ford India, Michael Boneham has said that the Figo is presently being exported to 32 nations and the company has made plans of touching the figure of 50 before 2012 comes to an end. This was revealed in a media interaction taking place on the occasion of the company inaugurating its dealerships in 35 more cities across India.

Ford Figo is going to be exported to 18 additional countries from 2012

The Ford Figo has been able to completely revive the fortunes of the global automaker in the Indian domestic market. It is well known that Ford had been struggling to achieve a foothold in India before the Figo had been launched. However, this hatchback has proven to be a hot seller and is surpassing its sales figures every month, which is giving the dealers of Ford vehicles plenty of reasons to smile. Though the Ford Figo has been witnessing strong competition from vehicles like the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20, it has still been able to achieve sustainable progress as far as the Indian domestic market is concerned.

Apart from its trump card, the Ford Figo, Ford has also boasted its portfolio in India with other vehicles that includes the Ford Fiesta Classic, a medium sized sedan, the Ford Endeavour, which is a premium SUV and also its premium sedan, the Ford Fiesta.

The new markets, in which the Ford Figo hatchback is going to be exported is going to be in South America, North Africa and the Caribbean islands. Ford has also started the process of setting up a second facility in India at Gujarat, which is expected to start operating from 2014.

Ford Figo is going to be exported to 18 additional countries from 2012

Toyota Etios Liva Vs Ford Figo Vs VW Polo : The Hatchback segment in India gets spoilt for choice

Yet another article comparing hatchbacks would make you yawn, however the fact that this is the most growing segment among Indian cars cannot be neglected. The Toyota Etios Liva has probably been one of the most anticipated cars in recent times, which started almost 5 years back when Toyota announced its intention of bringing a small car into the Indian market. Readers would find it interesting to know through this article whether the Company has been able to live to the expectations that have been created in the Indian market.

The Exteriors:

The Toyota Etios Liva in hatchback form looks much better than its sedan avatar. In its top-end VX variant, it indeed has one of the best looks given to a hatchback, particularly with its electric blue shade. Though the nose resembles its sedan cousin, other features are totally its own. Though not beautiful in conventional terms, its design elements have shaped up well giving it an overall pleasing effect.

Toyota Etios Liva in India

The Ford Figo on the other hand is bogged down by its non-contemporary looks taken from the erstwhile Fiesta. Armed with a nice stance, sharp looking headlights and nice lines, the vehicle does have a typical solid European look.

Ford Figo in India

The VW Polo, designed by Walter Da Silva, is indeed the best looking among the three. The combination of great looks without inherent aggression is what one can term as a head-turner that the vehicle has become. With great looking wheel arches and waist line, the Polo creates a great overall effect.

VW Polo in India

 

The Interiors:

The Toyota Etios Liva outscores the other two variants in terms of interior space offered, in fact one does not feel much difference between it and its sedan variant, though the wheelbase has been reduced 90mm. even when one pulls back the front seats all the way through, the rear passengers do not feel any cramping of leg space, further three fully-grown elders can comfortably occupy the back. The interiors are however shocking coming from a brand like Toyota with the use of cheap plastics. The features however are decent enough including audio controls being steering-mounted, comfortable steering wheel and a latest audio system.

Toyota Etios Liva interior

The Ford Figo offers better quality materials compared to the Liva and the cabin is definitely merrier, especially if the dashboard comes in red. Some well placed as well as easy to use features have been provided, though the absence of head and back support in rear seats makes it a touch discomforting.

Ford Figo interior

The VW Polo presents a very interesting picture. It does not match the above two vehicles in terms of features provided, it has a thin steering wheel tough to hold but with all these deficiencies, it still boasts having the best cabin among the three. The quality reflects in its build and material usage, thereby giving its riders the feel good factor of security and solidity once they are inside the vehicle.

VW Polo interior

 

The Engine Power:

All the cars are equipped with 1.2L petrol engines; however all have their respective inherent strengths. The Liva has a conventional engine with the glorious advantage of being the lightest among the three vehicles, weighing just 920kg. Efficiency rather than power is the key focus for this vehicle, which is essentially a city drive. The car has ease of driving with lighter and precise controls but its light weight goes against it when taken to the highways under windy conditions. The car peaks to a little more than 140kmph and requires downshifting for driving on hilly roads. Handling the car can give you combined effects of comfort and sportiness. Hence, the Liva can be deemed a car that has in it to satisfy all its segments of riders.

The Ford Figo has the least powerful engine amongst the three cars but does surprise you with its performance provided you know the correct combination of using its gears along with the correct amount of revolutions. If not, you got get the feeling of being slowed down by the Figo.

The VW Polo on the other hand looks the least refined among the three cars in the power aspect, literally. It has got a lesser cylinder compared to the other variants and accelerates slower than both. But here ends the negativities, it also achieves 155kmph top speed, the best among the three. It has been provided with such a combination that handling the vehicle is superb in all ride conditions and different speeds of driving. It undoubtedly provides the best overall experience in terms of driving and handling.

Toyota Etios Liva in India Ford Figo in India VW Polo in India

The Final Word:

The Liva has come up with the best engines, is easiest to drive, has superb spacing in the cabin and has all aspects of practical city driving, but is badly let down by its interior quality. The Figo is a good value for money vehicle, as well. However, the Polo rules this segment till date and indeed would be the best buy as on date.

Ford Figo diesel vs Maruti Ritz diesel

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The small car hatchback segment is a very confusing one. Especially the ones wherein one has to decide entry level diesel hatchbacks.With more and more car launches coming up, it is quite prudent that the buyers would be all the more confused. Now many questions arise as to which is India’s best entry level diesel hatchback? If I were to be personally answering this question, then it would come down to the Ford Figo tdci or the Maruti Ritz DDIS. Go for the base variants. But then the question remains. Which one is better? So here I am to solve this query the Lijo way and that is by getting both these cars face to face. Being safety conscious, I have taken the top end variants which come with Airbags (optional) on one car/ standard on the other and ABS, so now, I have got the Maruti Ritz VDI ABS in India facing off against the Ford Figo TDCI Titanium. If there is something which I need, then it is one more tester and that happens to be the newest inclusion to the Indiandrives team, Jerin. So off we set to compare the Ford Figo and the Maruti Ritz in the quest for finding India’s best entry level diesel hatchback.

Looks

Ford Figo : The Ford Figo in India mimics the “Kinetic Design” adopted by Ford the world over. It has got that sharp edge face which is said to be Ford’s corporate grille for almost all their upcoming cars in India and the world. The 2011 Fiesta would also display some of these traits. Ford have always believed in giving India, some India specific cars and the Figo is the result of it. However what many don’t know is that Ford uses existing car platforms and sometimes design cues from their older discontinued models. The design philosophy of the Figo is similar to that of the European Fiesta. The head lamps are real slick with painted and dark surfaces whereas the trapezoidal grille stamps the Kinetic Design theory. From the rear end, the car looks quite similar to the now discontinued Ford Fusion.

Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz in India is no spring chicken. It wouldn’t win any beauty pageants however those who want to buy a Ritz wouldn’t obviously be looking at a Lamborghini style design. Instead they would be looking more for a utility type design.  Everything about the Ritz speaks of a person who has got muscles to show but then recently contracted some disease and then lost all weight. The rear end resembles the Honda CR-V too much and that isn’t a bad thing for a small car, is it?

It would be the Ford Figo on this one, though I am saying this with a heavy heart since my heart is all for the Maruti Ritz.

Interiors

Ford Figo : The Ford Figo in India comes in an optional Coral hue for its interiors. Many would puke over it whilst lot many would love a different color to the interiors than the usual boring beige and black used by many cars. The top end variant of the Ford Figo comes with a factory fitted music system which has got Bluetooth integration to it. I for my life haven’t found it so tough to integrate the audio system’s Bluetooth to my phone. Imagine the 2011 Volkswagen Passat’s audio system has lot more intuitiveness to it than this one. The airconditioner also works perfectly fine with its fully closable flaps and stuff. Front seats are comfortable though the rear ones are placed a bit lower and ingress/egress is a bit of problem. The boot release mechanism was placed on my passenger’s side while the indicator stalks were also on the left side of the steering wheel. This clearly indicates that Ford wants to sell this same car to left hand drive markets as well. Rear passenger seat space however is better than that of the Polo, in which, I had an harrowing time. Boot space is nothing to talk about as it is a small car after all. Unfortunately, coming to the rear, the Figo misses out on one important factor, the rear doors haven’t got power windows and one has to wind them up or down, manually. Moreover, the glass doesn’t come down fully.

Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz in India is as sparsely equipped with features as the other Maruti cars. This car, come to think of it, doesn’t come with a music system. The airconditioner makes a whole lot of effort to keep the cabin cool however it fails in front of the Figo’s AC. The seats however are comfortable both in the front and at the rear, even with the front seats pushed back. head room as also leg room is terrific. The shoulder room however is a bit lacking. The Figo sits squatter than the Ritz and also has more of shoulder room. With its airy cabin, the Ritz however feels more comfortable of the two. Boot space is also comparable with the Figo, though its a bit more deeper. The build quality however is an equal in both with the Figo’s feeling better finished.

The Maruti Ritz for the comfort factor while the Figo as far as the equipment list goes, even in base trim.

Handling and ride quality

Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz is built on the same platform as the Maruti Swift. Now, everyone knows that the Maruti Swift is one hell of a car as far as its cornering capabilities are concerned. However the Ritz is a tall boy design which has given more emphasis on the ride quality rather than outright handling which the Swift is known for. Ride quality is commendable though sharp protrusions do catch it off guard. On the highways, the Ritz due to the tall boy design, is a bit prone to cross winds. However handling is not too bad for a tall boy. it does roll a fair bit but compared  to the other tall boys like Wagon R or the Hyundai Santro, its level of roll is a bit less. NVH is acceptable for a diesel car though. Roll up the windows and the level of clatter from the diesel engine reduces significantly. Visibility all around except for the rear is very good though. Steering wheel feel is a bit better than that of the Swift and the Ritz lets you dictate the terms rather than the other way round.

Ford Figo : The Ford Figo uses the outgoing Indian Fiesta’s platform and this means that the handling is a class apart as far as smaller cars are compared. The Figo has a ride quality which is more or less the same as  the Ritz however in the long run, it is the Figo which projects a more pliant ride quality. It has got a wider track and longer wheelbase. This makes it very stable on the highways. NVH is similar to the Maruti’s however the TDCI motor feels a wee bit more refined than the Fiat sourced multijet engine. Handling is something which is very similar to the Ritz’s cousin, the Swift. Visibility however is impeded by the thicker A pillars. Ford as well as Maruti are giving reverse parking sensors for their cars at an additional Rs 1200. I believe its well worth the investment. The steering wheel of the Figo deserves a special mention as it is accurately tuned, just like the rest of the Ford cars.

The Ford Figo for its overall dynamics and the Ritz for its ease of driving.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

Maruti Ritz : The Maruti Ritz in India comes with the 1248 cc diesel engine sourced from Fiat. This engine makes 75 Ps of peak power while the torque figure reads as 190 Nm. It is aligned with a short and stubby gear lever. This gearbox is really smooth and clutch action light as well. The Ritz does feel fast on the move and reached its top speed of 161 kmph in about 33 seconds. The 0-100 kmph run was completed under 15 seconds. The ratios are closely spaced for efficient use in the city, thus requiring lesser gear changes. The brakes are fantastic while displaying typical Maruti trait of overservoing their stoppers. ABS comes in handy to take care of panicky situations. Safety however is a bit compromised with Maruti offering air bags as option only on the top end variant. Fuel efficiency, as expected, from all the Maruti cars is stellar and especially in its diesel avatar, the Ritz manages to rake in overall mileage of 18.8 kmpl.

Ford Figo : The Ford Figo is also a borrower in the sense that it gets its 1.4 liter Duratorq engine from the bigger Fiesta. This engine makes 69 Ps of power and 160 Nm of torque. It get a 5 speed manual transmission for company. The transmission is butter smooth and a pleasure to use.No wonder, I was shifting up and down the gears more often. Not that I like it but then this gearbox has got higher ratios and hence the whole lot of shifting around process in the city. The Figo races from 0-100 kmph in 16.2 seconds while the top speed of 157 kmph is dispatched in 35 seconds. Brakes are powerful enough and with the standard ABS, the Figo stops well ahead of the Ritz. Figo comes with standard twin airbags in the front and a collapsible steering column. Fuel efficiency is a bit higher on the highways than the Ritz but the frequent gear changes in the city takes its toll on the overall fuel efficiency which comes to 18.3 kmpl.

The Ford Figo on this one due to its better safety features as also the perfect combination of the engine and power train.

Verdict

This also was one of the closely contested competition. Both the cars outdid each other in almost all the parameters that we had set out here. But as much as I would hate to say it, the Figo bests the Ritz overall. This doesn’t mean that the Ritz isn’t a competitive product. The very fact that it gives a better space utilization, easier to drive configuration plus better top speed and fuel economy than the Figo is more in the competitive ball park. However the Figo bests the Maruti with its dynamic abilities, engine transmission combination as also better features. The difference widens in their prices with the Maruti Ritz VDI price in India at Rs 5,34,201 while the Ford Figo TDCI Titanium retailing at Rs 5, 48,449. Both the prices are ex-show room, Mumbai. Time for some diesel (ling) drive.

It’s a growing time for Ford with Figo

The exponential growth Indian automobile industry has witnessed humongous growth for the period 2010 and in particular the multinational companies which have recently launched the small cars are in for some really good figures. In the latest development it has been reported, wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motors, Ford India has achieved a breath-taking feat of a record sales of 83,887 units for the period January to December 2010, courtesy to its small car Ford Figo.

Vice-president Ford India private limited, Anurag Mehrotra, according to latest reports was quoted as saying that for the period from January to December 2010, the company was able to sell 83,887 units and it tripled the sales volume with the previous year’s sale of 29,488 units. If these figures are to be analyzed on a year-on-year basis, Ford’s sales are up 172 percent compared to 2009.

Furthermore it was mentioned that to enhance its service support to the new and old customers, Ford India has been on a continuous expansion drive to increase its service and sales network across India. The company’s dealer network has inflated to 170 dealerships across 100 cities across the length and breadth of India.

The report was very upbeat about the performance of Ford’s small car the Figo, has which has been sold in good numbers thus enabling growth for the parent company. It has also earned some awards such as Economic Times, Zigwheels car of the year 2010 and the India Car Of The Year award (ICOTY 2010). It was also reported that Ford is mulling to export its cars to an additional 48 countries and at present, they are already exporting to Nepal and South Africa.

Ford Figo versus Nissan Micra

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The Ford Figo in India unanimously won the “Car of the Year” award at almost all of the auto awards function speaks volumes about its capabilities. The first time when I set my eyes on a Ford Figo, I thought it to be a mini Fusion and believe me, I wasn’t much off the mark. Even the fully loaded Titanium variant lacked rear power windows and this annoyed me. The absence of alloy wheels also made me think about Ford’s strategy with this hatchback but then when they revealed the price of Rs 3.43 lakhs for the base variant, revelation dawned upon me. Now, I wouldn’t be the right person at this time to comment on the Ford’s demerits ever since it has been crowned the winner but then Nissan Motors India Limited threw a bomb at us in the form of the Nissan Micra in India. Time for the swords to be drawn and whether or not, the new challenger usurps the throne unofficially from the king to be seen. Since the Ford Figo diesel variant out sells its petrol variant, we have pitted both the diesel variants of the cars and that too, as always, high end ones. So here comes Ford Figo versus Nissan Micra.

Looks

Ford Figo- Too much of Ford Fusion cues abound and this is very evident from the nose of the car. The Ford Figo in India has a wide gaping air dam whereas the front grille is a small aperture. The Blue Oval logo sits proudly  atop the chrome lined horizontal slat. The tear drop head lamps seem somewhat wicked on this small hatch. There are fog lamp slats provided but then there aren’t any lamps present. The side profile shows blacked out pillars in the car. The mirrors are body colored as are the door handles. The 14 inch wheels with wheel covers fitted over them don’t look elegant. From the rear, the Ford Fusion cues are abundant and there is a single wiper doing duty as well.



Nissan Micra-
Well, I have always maintained that the Nissan Micra in India looks cute and is more in the league of the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Beetle rather than as a less pricey everyday automobile. The diesel retains all that design cues. The apple cut front face also follows the Figo’s design theme with a bigger air dam and lower front grille. The fog lamps are very small units and are embedded in the integrated bumper. The Nissan Micra diesel gets 15 inch alloy wheels and they are of the subtle types. The rear end features a good hatch release which feels very chunky to hold. The small glass area is effectively cleaned by the single wiper.

So who wins this round, obviously, the Nissan Micra dCi.

Interiors

Ford Figo– If comfort is what you are looking for, then the Ford Figo in India is the better option of the two. Its front seat or to be specific, the driver seat requires some callisthenics to get in(strictly 6 foot plus people and above). Once in, you get quite intimate with the dashboard as your knees would be rubbing against it. The 3 spoke steering wheel seems derived from the old Ford F250 pickup truck. I just love the coral hue of the interiors, seen especially in the top end variant of the Ford Figo.This car is heavy on some unthinkable features whereas low on some essentials. The latter has been already discussed. The techno geeks would find the Bluetooth synchronization useful as is the audio streaming facility from the MP3 player. The Ford however misses out on steering adjust and also some of the creature comforts that you would expect. Rear sear space is also good for a small hatch and even the under thigh support is excellent. However the taller passengers would most likely get their hair styles messed up due to the sloping roof line. The boot space is also a usable lot with it swallowing upto 2 big suitcases. Cubby holes abound with deep door map pockets.

Nissan Micra- The Nissan Micra in India comes with different spec levels than its European counterpart. It has got front seats aided partly by the adjustable steering column and the smaller diameter steering wheel. It has also got climate control, CD/MP3 player and also an aux input. It also gets a segment first, the push button engine start/stop system. The upholstery uses a combination of beige and grey. The stalks and controls also seem better than the ones on the Ford Figo. Rear seat space however seems a bit tight and lacking in the under thigh region. The door handles also seem derived from the Nissan GTR and that is absolutely not a bad thing. It has got electric folding mirrors and also better head room at the rear. There is a general feeling of quality everywhere in the cabin for the Nissan Micra dCi. The door map pockets aren’t so deep and can barely hold a thing in place. The boot space though is a tad smaller than the Ford’s but then it compensates by way of its deepness.

It would be the Nissan Micra dCi winning this round with its feature laden list.

Handling and ride quality

Ford Figo– The Ford Figo in India comes with independent McPherson struts at the front and non-independent twist beam at the rear. This setup helps it achieve the best of both the worlds. The ride at low speeds is a bit jiggly however it doesn’t feel that way once the speeds rise. The car effectively smothers all road imperfections once it is in its element. The steering as with all Fords is very direct and delivers the best feedback in its class, the Maruti Swift included. The hydraulic assisted unit isn’t too light at city speeds but then, it is full of feel. As far as the handling goes, the Ford Figo handles corners with aplomb. It is left wanting in the engine department as the not so powerful engine cannot power the car effectively out of a corner. Using the chassis from the old generation European Fiesta has certainly helped matters for this car and bumped up the comfort quotient. Engine noise is well insulated from the occupants till speeds of upto 100 kmph however once the speeds rise up, the diesel clatter is evident.

Nissan Micra- The Nissan Micra in India also comes with the same suspension set up as the Ford Figo, with only a difference of non independent torsion beam at the rear. The ride quality at low speeds is definitely composed than the Figo’s but then it becomes nervous and fidgety once the speeds climb up. It doesn’t seem to like road abrasions at high speeds and tends to display a bob/pitch action. The handling is more tuned for the city use where the electronic power steering with its light feel, delivers an easy driving experience. Ranbir Kapoor had me convinced in the ads and now I can feel it in the real sense of the word. The ultra light steering wheel is a joy to operate however the same cannot be said of it at high speeds. It lacks the feel of the Ford Figo’s unit at highway speeds. Engine noise is also a bit more muffled than the Ford’s. Female buyers would be delighted with the all round visibility and easy going nature of the Nissan Micra diesel.

Of course, it would the Ford Figo winning this round.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

Ford Figo– The Ford Figo in India uses the same diesel motor as derived from the Ford Fiesta in India. The 1.4 liter 4 cylinder engine pumps out 68 Bhp of peak power and 160 Nm of torque. It is mated with one of the slickest 5 speed manual transmissions in the market. The short gearing and easy shifting gears help overcome the power deficit that this car possess. It races from 0-100 kmph in 16.33 seconds and reaches a top speed of 138 kmph. The diesel engine as I had experienced from the Ford Fiesta is a responsive unit but then it doesn’t take kindly to be been revved. The clutch action is also very light. In gear roll on figures are also okay for its segment but then it is nothing exceptional.

Braking is achieved via discs at the front and drums at the rear. The Ford Figo Tdci Titanium variant also gets ABS and ESP as part of its package. Brake feel could have been a bit better on this though. As far as safety goes, Ford Motors India Limited have offered the car with dual air bags, collapsible steering column and three point seat belts.

Fuel efficiency is what the puny motor delivers in spades. It gives 14.1 kmpl in the city whereas the shorter gearing sees it deliver only 18.5 kmpl on the highway.

Nissan Micra- The 1.5 liter 4 cylinder diesel engine for the Nissan Micra in India is derived from the Renault Logan. This engine makes 63 Bhp and 160 Nm of torque. Though low in capacity and power output than the competition here, the Micra more than makes up with its low kerb weight of 1008 kgs, which is about 120 kgs less than the Ford Figo. But this engine has almost no turbo lag and helps in propelling the car from 0-100 kmph in a good 15.7 seconds. The widespread torque and its linear power delivery coupled with the free revving nature of the motor helps this car to achieve a top speed of 143 kmph. The engine does sound  a bit strained at this speeds but then, not much than the Figo’s. Due to negligible turbo lag, this engine even fares better in the in gear roll on figures. This car is geared tall in the interests of eking out better fuel economy(ARAI promising 23 kmpl).

The brake pedal feel is exemplary in the Nissan with the car offering discs at the front and progressive drums at the rear. Unfortunately, in the interests of cost cutting, ABS has been skimped. Not that I missed it much in the testing phase but then in emergency situations, it would definitely be a life saver.

Speaking of skimping, the company has also skimped on giving a passenger airbag, even as an option. The other safety aids are driver airbag, side intrusion beams, seat belts and collapsible steering column.

Fuel efficiency is where even the Renault Logan derived motor shines. It delivered 14.6 kmpl in the city and the highway figure was somewhat close to what ARAI claimed, at 20.5 kmpl.

This one goes to the Nissan Micra dCi for its frugal and easy driving nature.

Verdict

This is one test that I can say with confidence that it wasn’t evenly matched contest. Actually most of the test was dominated by one player, that is the Nissan Micra in India with its Nissan Micra dCi model. The Ford Figo in India, with its Ford Figo Tdci Titanium model seems to have been dethroned. The Ford Figo is not a car for first time buyers but more so for the people in the age group of 28-40. It has good space, small footprint, fuel efficient engine and also creature comforts(that is debatable if one would prefer rear power windows or Bluetooth connectivity). The Ford Figo price in India for the top end diesel model is Rs 5.44 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Now, the Nissan Micra in India, on the other hand is more of a car for those first timers or female drivers. It is more easy to drive, is more fuel efficient, has almost all the creature comforts one would expect from it(except for safety and Bluetooth). The Nissan Micra price in India is Rs 6.02 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). With this price difference, you get a fully loaded car but then at a lesser price, the Ford Figo Titanium makes more sense. The choice is yours.

Ford Figo

Ford India limited, a 100% subsidiary of Ford Motors, USA have launched their much awaited small car, the Ford Figo in India. Actually speaking, the Ford Figo is a built for India car. It is Ford’s foray into the bread and butter hatch back segment. The last launch we saw from Ford was the Ford Fiesta. Now, we all know that Ford India have been testing mules in India but they were all sedans and probably a Fiesta replacement or higher up. Ford India have promised good space as well as a decent set of engines and a killer price point for the Ford Figo. Now, it is a known fact that Ford India does get their pricing right in the middle of the groove. We give you a complete review of the new Ford Figo. Check on Road Price

Looks

The New Ford Figo is built on an all-new platform for the Indian markets. However it looks much like the Ford Fusion with a nose job. The Ford Figo carries forward the Ford’s Kinetic design theory to the next level with its small grille. Atop this small grille is nestled the Blue Oval Ford logo. The head lamps wrap around the grille and are pentagonal. The air dams are big as compared to the Ford Fusion’s and impart a sporty look. Unfortunately in the air dams, there are only fog lamp inserts but no fog lamps. These are only an option in the top end version. The front bumpers are body colored even for the lower spec versions. The windscreen isn’t highly raked and features rain sensing wipers.

Moving to the side profile, there is nothing much to be described. Ford India have done well to give the Ford Figo tubeless tyres with tyre size as 175/65 R14. There are no alloys, even as options though and all you get is a not so good looking wheel cover. The outside rear mirrors are also in body color and are wide enough to let you know of the happenings behind.

The rear is also featureless and the array of tail lamps is arranged in a vertical manner, muck like that of its Escape SUV in the US. The rear bumper, is though, not body colored and is covered with a black plastic cladding. This also house the reflectors. A rear windscreen washer and wiper is present, considering the huge glass area.

Interiors

We got both the high specced Titanium versions of the Ford Figo. Open the low slung doors and you would be greeted with one of the most distinguishable dashboard. It seems too American however Ford India leads us to believe that the Coral hued dashboard color works for the close knit Indian families. It doesn’t get stained easily and even if it does, can be cleaned easily. The doors close with a soft thud. The dials seem to be inspired from the bigger brother, the Ford Fiesta. This makes the car look sporty from within. The 2 spoked steering wheel feels chunky to hold and is rake and reach adjustable. It however doesn’t offer steering wheel mounted audio controls as well as for the Bluetooth pairing system.

Plenty of brushed aluminium is used for good effect and special mention must be made of the cubby holes which abound in plenty all around the cabin. The materials used are of the soft types which should weather the Indian conditions well.

The seats are low slung however they perfectly suit the contours of the human body. The seating position for the driver is spot on. The rear seats are more like benches but have good space for 3. The only thing lacking was the lack of rear power windows even in the top spec version. The rear seat passengers also have to make do without head rests. The boost space is flat with no suspension strut intrusions and makes do with a 283 liters space. The rear seats do full topple over and give you a huge 897 liters of space.

Handling and ride quality

Ford India have been known to get the ride and handling confusion sorted out for their every car. The New Ford Figo rides well. The suspension is made up of an Independent McPherson Strut with Dual Path Mounts type at the front and the rear one makes do with Semi Independent Twist Beam, Coil Springs. Taking cues from the Fiesta, the Ford Figo handles quite well, with the engine and thin tyres been the only sore point in this package.

It is only the biggest of the bumps, that show that the Ford Figo is a small car after all. The steering is a hydraulic unit and is quite light at city speeds and weighs up nicely once the speeds rise.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Ford Figo is been offered with 2 engine options, a diesel and petrol. The petrol motor is an all new unit and is an 1.2 litre engine offering 71 PS of peak power at 6,350 rpm and also 102 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The diesel is borrowed from the Ford Fiesta and is in the same state of tune. It is the 1.4 liter common rail diesel throwing out 69 PS at 4,100 rpm and a peak torque of 160 Nm at 2,100 rpm.

The diesel as in the Ford Fiesta seems a bit underpowered however also feels a bit more sprightly because of the less weight it has to lug around. The petrol motor is short geared and is upto the task in the city however you do feel it lacking as you venture into the highway.

Ford India had promised us that the Ford Figo will have a good fuel economy compared to others in its class. The petrol Ford Figo delivers 13.8 kmpl in the city and 18.1 kmpl in the highway whereas the diesel gives 15.7 kmpl in the city and 20.4 kmpl on the highway.

Braking is handled by disc brakes on the front and drums at the rear assisted by ABS as well as EBD. Safety is taken care by 2 airbags, 3 point ELR seat belts for all the 5 occupants and front, side impact absorbing beams.

Verdict

Ford India are keen to make the Ford Figo one of their best sellers in India. It is a very realistic dream considering that the Ford Figo ticks all the right choices for the Indian market. It has a fantastic ride quality, good quality interiors, mature looks and fuel efficiency as an added bonus. Not only that, it is priced at Rs.3,49,900 for the base petrol engine and going upto Rs 5,29,900 for the top end all frills diesel model.

Ford Figo Technical Specifications

  • 1.2 Liter DuraTec MPFI Petrol Engine/ 1.4 Liter DuraTorq CRDI Diesel Engine
  • Max Power 70 BHP @6250 RPM/ Max Power 68 BHP @4000 RPM
  • Max Torque 104 Nm @ 4000 RPM/ Max Torque 160 Nm @ 2000 RPM
  • 5 Speed Manual Transmission
  • 283 liters of boot space
  • Length : 3796mm,  Width 1682mm and  Height 1426mm
  • Long Wheelbase of 2489mm
  • 14 inch steel wheels of the tubeless type
  • Front Disc brakes
  • Rear drum Brakes
  • Front Suspension – Independent McPherson Strut with Dual Path Mounts type
  • Rear Suspension – Semi Independent Twist Beam, Coil Springs
  • 44 Liter Fuel Tank